History of Bubbles

Rumor has it that when the French monk, Dom Perignon, first tasted the champagne he created, he said, “Come quickly, I am drinking the stars!” Whether he actually said it or not, it’s a great description of this sparkling wine.

I don’t drink a lot of champagne, but someone recently gave me and my husband a bottle of Dom Perignon. How nice!

 

French Benedictine monks were the first to create champagne in the 17th century, named after the Champagne region of France where they lived. One of the monks was Dom Pierre Perignon (1639-1715). Some say he was the very first monk to discover champagne, but the topic is controversial. During those times, monks produced wine because it was blessed and used during mass.

Because of the cooler temperatures and shorter growing season of the grapes in the Champagne region, the grapes were picked late in the year and fermentation was often cut short. A second fermentation process began in the spring when weather got warmer. This second fermentation process created natural bubbles of carbon dioxide. If the champagne was stored in barrels, the effervescence escaped. But when stored in bottles, how the monks stored it, the bubbles were trapped inside. Hence, champagne.

 

Some of the cheaper versions of sparkling wine—some produced in North America—have the carbon dioxide bubbles injected directed by machine. This is not true champagne.

The first bottle of the brand name Dom Perignon was produced in 1936–named after the famous monk.

Sometimes in my Westerns, I’ll have my Mountie hero open a bottle of Bordeaux or Burgundy wine from France, to indicate that Mountie Officers often came from cultured homes and wealthy Eastern families.

What’s your favorite drink? Maybe it’s non-alcoholic? Right now, mine is green tea. This summer, I loved visiting Napa Valley in California. (The photo below.) I live near the Niagara Region of Ontario, and its most southern point goes as far south as the northern tip of California, and so the weather here is conducive to growing grapes. The Niagara region produces some world-class wines. How about you? Do you live near a grape growing region where wines are produced? Or have you visited one? 

 

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33 thoughts on “History of Bubbles”

  1. The Napa Valley is beautiful. I don’t drink much wine my drink is teas.
    My grandfather here in Omaha used to grow grapes in his back yard and would make different wines and moon shine. I never tasted the moon shine because I heard it would knock you on your butt. But the wine was very good, I am not sure how to managed to make it in the house but he used the basement and garage and he didn’t sell it just gave to family.

  2. Hi Brenda! I just read your other comment on Thanksgiving and asked you where you live. Now I know! 🙂 I really enjoy teas, too. Had to quit coffee last year and it took a while to get into green tea, but I’m used to it now. And green tea does have a tiny bit of caffeine, so it gives me a little boost when I’m on deadline.

    LOL on the moon shine. My father used to make his own wine, too. Wasn’t the greatest, though. I think he never let it age long enough, LOL.

  3. Hi Kate, My grandfather used to make wines of all kinds of things including rubarb. was the only way I got to taste wines as a child. Now I love them but they don’t like me…trigers a migraine. That doesn’t stop me from visiting a winery. There is one not far from me here in Nebraska, I have visited a couple in Missouri and one in NY not far from Olean. Have been to Niagara Falls on the Canadian side but that is as far as we traveled.
    My favorite drink is just plain ole water and because we have our own well, to me it is the best around.!

  4. Oh, I seriously love wine. And champagne is one of my faves…as long as it’s created by methode de champanois, meaning they DON’T squirt the bubbles into it which gives folks a headache. The bubbles must be natural fermentation. (Make sure it says those words on the bottle LOL.) Our son and DIL gave us a bottle of Dom for hosting their wedding…and to be frank, I loved it but would rather buy eight bottles of Korbels for the same $$. To this unsophisticated tongue, it’s just as good.

    I’ve always loved the swallowing stars legend whether it’s true or not. It just sounds so beautiful.

    Nice post today, Kate.

  5. I normally drink cabernet savignon but champagne is nice for special occasions. We just bought a bottle of Dom Perignon for our daughter and her new husband but they’re not allowed to open it until their first anniversary next July lol.

  6. Oh, I love the stories about wine. 🙂

    Connie–I’ve never heard of rhubarb wine! You’ve been to a lot of wineries. I agree about the water. It always tastes different when you travel, doesn’t it? I guess we all get used to our own.

    Tanya–I hear you on the Dom. It was really fun to drink ours, but I doubt I could tell the difference between it and another less expensive version. And to tell you the truth, I don’t like wine if it’s too dry. I like it a bit on the sweeter side.

    Jeanne–That was nice of you to buy a bottle for our daughter and new husband. LOL on them having to wait. 🙂

  7. Hi Kate,

    Wow, I didn’t know all this about champagne and wines! I learned something today.

    I’m not a big wine or champagne drinker though. My favorite drink is non-alcholic — Raspberry-Kiwi Crystal Light. It’s a sugar free tea that tastes wonderful. And since I was recently diagnosed with diabetes, I have to watch the sugar. That just about kills me because I have a horrible sweet tooth.

    Great bog! Hope you have a great Thanksgiving Day!

  8. Hi Kate!

    Great post. I knew nothing about this — I must admit I’m not a big wine or champagne drinker, either. They tend to make me drunk quite easily plus, I get quite the hangover the next day.

    Hope all is well with you. Is it Canada’s Thanksgiving?

  9. I love champagne but drink if sparingly on big occasion. I splurged on it once for a combination new contract/birthday/New Years celebration (my birthday is January lst). I did it mainly to see what the difference was between it and other champagnes. Writer’s curiosity here; that’s my story and I sticking with it.

    I’m not much of a taster, but I really could tell the difference. It was quite wonderful. But not enough to ever buy it again.

    My drink of choice now is a red wine.

  10. And please forgive the typos above. I strained a muscle in my neck and am on multiple medications.
    It’s a wonder if I make any sense.

    But it was a great post, and I wanted to reply.

  11. Very fun post, Kate! I can’t say I love wine, but it’s such a neat thing–the whole grapes, fermenting, aging… it’s such magic! And I do live close enough to vineyards so that I’ve visited some wineries before–that’s fun, too 🙂

  12. Hey, Kate! I never knew a monk invented Champagne. Fascinating story!

    I love wine. Maybe it’s the Italian in me, but I find having a small glass at the end of the day very relaxing. My daughter brought me back a bottle of Blueberry wine from Virginia in August, and I have to say, it’s now my favorite. While at an apple festival last month, I bought a bottle of cherry wine, made here in Nebraska. It was good, but it didn’t have as much cherry taste as I thought it would. But it was a beautiful red color.

    Non-alcholic drink? Diet Pepsi Lemon (when I can find it) or Diet Pepsi Lime is a nice runner-up.

    Loved the blog!

  13. Very interesting!

    My book The Inheritance ends up in the wine country of New York, the Finger Lakes region – Hammondsport, a very pretty, quaint town I visited while up there one year. I also visited a winery and it is so beautiful and interesting!

    I do enjoy a nice glass of wine on occasion and sometimes even a nice Wild Turkey & Coke – just depends on my mood at the time. 🙂

    Great post!
    PamT

  14. Hi Kate!!
    I love Champagne. At one time I knew all the history of the monks and their creation. Thanks for the reminder.

    We just had some great martinis as Nikki’s wedding on Saturday (pics to come) and I LOVE sour apple martinis. That’s one of my very favorites.

    My next proposal for Desire is a trilogy set in Napa Valley. Lovely area and I’m glad you had a chance to visit it!

  15. Fascinating post, Kate. I drink a tiny bit of wine at parties, whatever’s there, but I was raised as a non-drinker and have never developed much of a taste for alcohol. However, someone handed me a lovely little crystal flute of champagne a few months ago. Loved it. It really was like drinking stars.
    The drink I can’t get enough of is coffee, usually in soy latte form.

  16. Kate, you’re researching champagne, I’m researching lobotomies. SOOOOOOOOOOOOO not fair. I love a quiet cup of hot tea late at night. My very VERY favorite is Twining. It is so unusually delicious. So many teas have a wonderful aroma but not much taste. This tea really tastes wonderful. I like Earl Grey or Lady Grey.
    Someone gave me some once, tucked in a pretty mug for Christmas. It was so delicious I decided BY GOLLY I’m hunting this tea down even if it has to be shpped over from England.

    Well, it’s in WalMart.

    So it’s delicious and it’s almost worth winter coming just so I can have hot tea again.

  17. My drink of choice is Diet Pepsi.
    I don’t care for wine or champagne—just never aquired a taste for it.
    I live not too far from the Umpqua Valley wine area of Oregon—so have seen the vineyards and visited the wine tasting cellars.

  18. Hi Linda! Thanks! And thanks for the recommendation of Raspberry-Kiwi Crystal Light. There are so many flavors I never know what to choose, so I tend to avoid them all. But I’ll try that one! Too bad about the sweet tooth–I’m sure it’ll take some adjustment, but being highly motivated will help. My brother’s diabetic so I know what you’re saying.

    Hi Karen! Thanks for your comment and wishes for a happy Thanksgiving. I did post a short blog below this one explaining that it’s Canada’s Thanksgiving. It’s easy to miss, though. I agree about the horrible hangover the next day. I avoid drinking too much because of that, too. Just a glass of wine now and again.

  19. Hi Pat! Sorry to hear about your strained muscle. Oh, dear. That must hurt if you’re trying to write, no matter where it is on the body. Your post made perfect sense to me! I had to smile at your celebrating all those 3 things together. Must’ve been quite an evening! 🙂

  20. Fedora, hi! That whole process of making wine is really intriguing, I agree. It’s all so interesting. And it’s amazing how much some people know about wine. I’m astounded.

    Colleen–hi! Oh, Sangria Spritzer sounds good. Sometimes in the winter when I get a cold, I’ve heated Sangria in a pot and added sugar…I forgot about that. But like you, I don’t drink too much of it.

  21. Hi Pam! Italians sure are expert winemakers with their vino! I really like the reds. Blueberry wine sounds really interesting–never had it. And I’ve never seen a Diet Pepsi Lemon, either. I’ll have to watch for it. I love Diet Pepsi!

  22. Hi Pamela–The Inheritance sounds wonderful! The setting is gorgeous, I must say in upper state NY where I’ve driven through before. What’s a Wild Turkey & Coke? LOL

    Hi Charlene! Oh, a Champagne lover and someone who knows about its history! 🙂 I was wondering about you and your daughter’s wedding. Can’t wait to see the photos! Hope everything was fabulous! Did the honeymooners get away okay? Your books in Napa Valley sound wonderful, too!

  23. Hi Elizabeth, the image of someone passing you a champagne flute put a smile on my face. Coffee…I used to love it, too, but find it’s just too strong for me now. But I do love the smell of coffee…just walking past a coffee shop is so relaxing.

    Hi Mary–Lobotomies?? LOL Shall I dare ask what you’re up to now? Must be that fictional surgeon of yours. I’ll have to try out that tea, too! Thanks for the recommendation–I’ve seen it on the shelves but never tried it. You wait till cold weather to drink it? I drink it all year round, instead of coffee. But I can understand if you prefer iced tea in the summer.

  24. Hi Estella! You live in a gorgeous place! I’ve driven through Oregon. And I’ve visited the Okanagan Valley in British Columbia, another wine-growing area in Canada, on the west coast and not too far from that region. I like Diet Pepsi, too. Thanks for posting!

  25. My favorite is Diet Pepsi,but I have a cute story to tell about the monks that your story reminded me of,my son ,who is now 34,at the age of 16 had a CD of the San Bendenine Bohemian Monk Chant,yes,chant,believe it or not,they recorded the Monks chanting,for real!I had no ideal,my husband was working nights an my son had went to spend the nite at a friends,it was just me an my 6 yr old daughter at home,for some reason,the sterio in his room came on,the door was closed,an it was 2 am ,I was awakened by,the SanBenedentine Bohemian Monk Chant,I grabbed my baseball bat an went running,all I heard was AHHHHHHHHHH,yammma,yammma,yammaaaaaa,sounded like people moanin an hurting,I snuck in his room screaming you better run!an stop that Moaning!an then I found it was a dang CD! of MONKS CHANTING,why in the world would someone buy that!but my kid did,an when he went to college someone stole all his CDs an took that CD!what a surprize they got when they played that sucker,lol,still laughing all these years later

  26. Vickie, that’s so funny! And that your son at 16 would buy it, that’s really funny too. I would’ve been freaked out like you to hear it at night. That’s a story you’ll always remember. Thanks for the giggle. 🙂

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